Middle England

Middle England

4.32 (55 ratings by Goodreads)
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'THE BOOK EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT' THE TIMES

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'It was tempting to think, at times like this, that some bizarre hysteria had gripped the British people'

Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.

There are newlyweds Ian and Sophie, who disagree about the future of the country and, possibly, the future of their relationship; Doug, the political commentator who writes impassioned columns about austerity from his Chelsea townhouse, and his radical teenage daughter who will stop at nothing in her quest for social justice; Benjamin Trotter, who embarks on an apparently doomed new career in middle age, and his father Colin, whose last wish is to vote in the European referendum. And within all these lives is the story of modern England: a story of nostalgia and delusion; of bewilderment and barely-suppressed rage.

Following in the footsteps of The Rotters' Club and The Closed Circle, Jonathan Coe's new novel is the novel for our strange new times.

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'His affectionately witty attitude to our human foibles is always uplifting . . . superb' The Times

'From post-industrial Birmingham to the London riots and the current political gridlock, [Middle England] takes in family, literature and love in a comedy for our times' Guardian

'Coe shows an understanding of this country that goes beyond what most cabinet ministers can muster . . . his light, funny writing makes you feel better' Evening Standard

'Middle England is a full-blooded state of the nation novel, and it brings us bang up-to-date' Sunday Times

Coe is an extraordinarily deft plotter...the book zips along...he tackles big ambitious themes, in this case the effect of politics on people's lives, and political opinions on personal relations' Mail on Sunday

'What is striking about Coe is not so much his flight from Enghlishness as his ambivalent embrace of it ' Financial Times

'Slick . . . stylishly engineered . . . you'll marvel at the extraordinary attention to detail' Spectator

'Millions of words have been and will be written on Brexit but few will get to the heart of why it is happening as incisively as Middle England' John Boyne, Irish Times

'This is a picture of England that comes from a place of compassion and understanding' inews

'Coe is as funny and tender as ever, restoring some humanity to the tumultuous societal backdrop' Grazia

'Middle England combines top-class soap opera storytelling with melancholy insight into what it means to be English' Metro
'A novel for our times . . . complex, human and utterly unique' Stylist

'Very funny . . . Exceptionally good . . . Delightful' BBC Radio 4, Saturday Review
'Coe's comic critique of a divided country dazzles . . . Properly laugh-out-loud funny . . . it is also incisive and brilliant about our divided country and the deep chasms revealed by the vote to leave. Do not miss' The Bookseller
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 39mm | 667g
  • VIKING
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241309468
  • 9780241309469
  • 511

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Review quote

You can't stop reading....I was haunted for days * Independent on 'Number 11' * Jonathan Coe has established himself as one of the most entertaining chroniclers of our times * Tatler * An angry and exuberant book * Sunday Times on 'Number 11' * No modern novelist is better at charting the precariousness of middle-class life * Observer * Probably the best English novelist of his generation -- Nick Hornby Middle England combines top-class soap opera storytelling with melancholy insight into what it means to be English * Metro * This is a picture of England that comes from a place of compassion and understanding * inews * A copper bottomed masterpiece -- Barney Norris Sublimely good. Funny, tender, human and intelligent ... the state of the (Brexit) nation novel to end them all. Jonathan Coe's best since What a Carve Up! -- India Knight Coe's comic critique of a divided country dazzles . . . Properly laugh-out-loud funny . . . it is also incisive and brilliant about our divided country and the deep chasms revealed by the vote to leave. Do not miss * The Bookseller * Brilliant. Read it too fast, finished it too soon -- Nigella Lawson Let me add to the chorus of praise forJonathan Coe's new book Middle England. Easily my favourite of his since What a Carve Up!, which did for Thatcherism what Middle England does for Brexit -- John Crace The first great Brexit novel -- Sathnam Sanghera An astute, enlightened and enlightening journey into the heart of our current national identity crisis. Both moving and funny. As we'd expect from Coe -- Ben Elton What is striking about Coe is not so much his flight from Enghlishness as his ambivalent embrace of it * Financial Times * Middle England takes all that is memorable and moving about Coe's body of work and throws it at the present emergency -- Alex Clark * TLS * Slick . . . stylishly engineered . . . you marvel at the extraordinary attention to detail * Spectator * Very funny . . . exceptionally good . . . delightful * BBC Radio 4, Saturday Review * Coe's writing is as smoothly accomplished as ever . . . very funny . . . poignant about the passing of time, the wishing for what has vanished, the decades lost to obscure hatreds * Guardian, 'Book of the Day' * Millions of words have been and will be written on Brexit but few will get to the heart of why it is happening as incisively as Middle England -- John Boyne * Irish Times * In Middle England, Coe shows an understanding of this country that goes beyond what most cabinet ministers can muster . . . he subtly builds a picture that exposes the cracks in society . . . he is a master of satire but pokes fun subtly, without ever being cruel, biting or blatant . . . his light, funny writing makes you feel better * Evening Standard * Coe is an extraordinarily deft plotter...the book zips along...he tackles big ambitious themes, in this case the effect of politics on people's lives, and political opinions on personal relations * Mail on Sunday * A novel for our times . . . complex, human and utterly unique * Stylist * From post-industrial Birmingham to the London riots and the current political gridlock, [Middle England] takes in family, literature and love in a comedy for our times * Guardian * Middle England is a full-blooded state of the nation novel, and it brings us bang up-to-date * Sunday Times * The book everyone is talking about . . [Coe's] affectionately witty attitude to our human foibles is always uplifting . . . superb' * The Times *
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About Jonathan Coe

Jonathan Coe is the author of twelve novels, all published by Penguin, which include the highly acclaimed bestsellers What a Carve Up!, The House of Sleep,The Rotters' Club and Number 11.
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Rating details

55 ratings
4.32 out of 5 stars
5 45% (25)
4 44% (24)
3 9% (5)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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